Blair Witch Writer Discusses the Challenges of Making a Sequel

The 2016 film Blair Witch caught horror genre fans off guard when it was revealed that its previous title (The Woods) was a total misdirect. Initially revealed via an SDCC screening, the film was then marketed as Blair Witch, a sequel to the 1999 found-footage trendsetter. The continuity reveal ended up being something exciting to unsuspecting fans, but in doing so, had the potential to limit their audience based on a few important details.

When looking back at that film's experience and taking on something iconic like Blair Witch, writer Simon Barrett spoke up about limitations associated with a sequel. Barrett tells Collider, "Ultimately, a lot of people are just sick of found footage. A lot of people still don't like the original Blair Witch Project and are still mad about it, and they don't want a sequel. And all the people who do love The Blair Witch Project also didn't want a sequel, and they have very complicated feelings about the previous one. So we were kind of in this little niche market of people that wanted a very sincere sequel to the 1999 film."

Blair Witch Director Wanted the Film's Ending to Feel Ambiguous
Photo Credit: Lionsgate – Blair Witch (2016)

Barrett also elaborates that he believes the film could have greatly benefitted from screenings as well, telling the publication, "Because we made it in secret, we never stopped to ask if anyone liked this idea or wanted this or thought what we were doing was a good idea. A lot of filmmakers talk very negatively about the process of audience testing in Hollywood, and obviously, that's because it can often be used to push an agenda, right?" The Blair Witch scribe adds, "We think of audience testing as the way movies are made, are dumbed down and taken away from their creators. But audience testing is great because any director who doesn't want to know how people are going to react to their film."

At this point in time, it doesn't seem likely that there's an immediate desire to push for more Blair Witch stories, but that doesn't mean we won't see another attempt in the future! Would you like to see more Blair Witch, or should any potential footage remain lost?

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About Aedan Juvet

A self proclaimed pop-culture aficionado with a passion for all forms of storytelling. Aside from sharing my written opinions, I can be likely found watching everything horror, anime or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
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